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3rd gen APU?

jusomdudejusomdude Somewhere, KSPosts: 2,401Member

Anyone have an idea when AMD's third gen APUs are going to be released?

I think I saw something that said first half of 2013... anyone have something more specific?

Comments

  • CleffyCleffy San Diego, CAPosts: 4,623Member Uncommon
    AMD has already reduced prices to make room for the next generation of APU.  I think we will start seeing them in May.  I think there was some talk about early April releases, but I am probably mistaken.  However, getting the first wave is not what people should be interested in unless you want a tablet.  Its the APU used in the PS4 that will be made available that people should be thinking about.  MSI would probably do something cool with it.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,779Member Uncommon

    AMD has kind of launched Richland, but it takes time for them to show up in laptops.

    Richland is nearly the same as Trinity, though.  Think of it as a new stepping, not a new chip, so you get another 5% or 10% performance out of higher clock speeds, but not much more.

    The big advance will be Kaveri, which will feature steamroller cores and GCN graphics on a 28 nm process node, but that's not due to launch until late this year.

  • jusomdudejusomdude Somewhere, KSPosts: 2,401Member
    Will 3rd gen use FM2 socket?
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,779Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Cleffy
    Its the APU used in the PS4 that will be made available that people should be thinking about.  MSI would probably do something cool with it.

    Jaguar cores really aren't what you want in a desktop unless you're on an extremely tight budget, as they offer poor single-threaded performance.  For a PS4, that's fine, as game developers know it and know that they have to scale their game to use many cores efficiently.  If you know that you need to do that, it's not that hard to do.

    But there is lots of legacy software that isn't so well threaded that desktops need to be able to run well.  Guild Wars 2 probably wouldn't run very well on the PS4 chip, for example.  EverQuest 2 would surely run poorly on it if you try to turn settings too high.  Desktops need high single-threaded performance available in order to handle such legacy software.

    AMD will release Jaguar cores for desktops (or rather, nettops) and laptops as Kabini.  But that's for ultraportables that need an APU with a TDP of 15 W or less for the entire chip.  A properly done Kabini laptop could be kind of like an Ultrabook except a few millimeters thicker and without all of the problems (high price tag, broken video drivers, impossible to repair, etc.) that make Ultrabooks terrible.  That's great if you need something highly portable, but it's not what you want for gaming.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,779Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by jusomdude
    Will 3rd gen use FM2 socket?

    Richland is Socket FM2 in desktops.  Laptops tend to use BGA or some such instead of a socket, but laptop vendors will be able to stick Richland into the same laptops that they used to use Trinity for with only a BIOS change.

    AMD hasn't officially announced whether Kaveri will use a new socket yet.  This is my guessing, but I somewhat expect AMD to make both FM2 and FM3 versions of Kaveri, with the former to allow older systems to upgrade the CPU alone and to make sure that it doesn't have to be delayed if DDR4 memory simply isn't ready in time.  The Socket FM3 version would use DDR4 memory.

  • CleffyCleffy San Diego, CAPosts: 4,623Member Uncommon

    I guess I should have been clearer.  MSI does not currently make highend desktops like ASUS, they make nettop, netbooks, and high end laptops.  I think what MSI does with the processor is going to be impressive for a high end laptop.

    When we talk about the future of gaming and where it is now, I do not think the problems related to AMDs single-threaded performance will be an issue.  Most games are a port of Consoles, and with both high end console generations practically using the same processor on an x86 instruction set we will see higher reliance on AMDs architecture.  Sure legacy support can be an issue, but is it an issue now?  How much worse in single threading can the new jaguar cores be over the old piledriver cores?  I find with the processor, it only needs to meet the requirements not exceed them.

  • QuizzicalQuizzical Posts: 14,779Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Cleffy

    Sure legacy support can be an issue, but is it an issue now?  How much worse in single threading can the new jaguar cores be over the old piledriver cores?  I find with the processor, it only needs to meet the requirements not exceed them.

    If we're comparing top bin to top bin, Jaguar cores will offer about 40% of the single-threaded performance of Piledriver in a desktop, and 50% in a laptop.  The reason for the difference is that Piledriver has to be clocked lower in a laptop to save on power, while Jaguar doesn't.

    Top bin Jaguar cores will only be about as fast as Athlon 64 cores that AMD was selling nine years ago.  Still, Jaguar cores will deliver that performance in about 2 W each, as opposed to the 89 W TDP for an old Athlon 64.  That's a big difference for the laptop and tablet markets that Jaguar targets, and probably one of the things that both Sony and Microsoft found attractive about them.  That plus taking very little die space means that you can put eight of them into a chip without it using that much power or being that expensive to produce.

    While AMD doesn't release the TDP for individual cores, the entire Kabini quad core chip has a 15 W TDP.  That includes four Jaguar cores, two GCN CUs for graphics, a memory controller, SATA ports, PCI Express, and everything else that an SoC needs in order to make a functional computer.  2 W is a rough ballpark estimate, but the "correct" value is 1/4 of something a lot less than 15 W, to subtract off power used by other parts of the chip.

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